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“Hem i Broken English nomo”: Interrupting the same old story about pidgins and creoles in school

Willans, Fiona (2015) “Hem i Broken English nomo”: Interrupting the same old story about pidgins and creoles in school. UNSPECIFIED.

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Pidgins and creoles have a long tradition of stigmatisation within formal education. Their speakers can thus suffer negative feelings about their language use, thereby adversely affecting participation and engagement in the classroom. Siegel (1999, 2007) notes that very little has changed in this regard, despite several decades of sociolinguistic research demonstrating that there is no linguistic justification for keeping these languages out of the classroom. This presentation uses recent data about Bislama (an English-based expanded pidgin), collected at two schools in Vanuatu, to demonstrate that attitudes towards this language remain incredibly negative in the domain of formal education, despite its high status outside school, and despite its prominent place in teachers’ and students’ linguistic repertoires. It will be suggested that these negative arguments can be countered in a number of ways, but that it is difficult to open up sufficient space to disrupt the status quo without rethinking some of our fundamental assumptions about the nature of language and languages. The presentation will consider whether it is possible to follow Snell’s (2013) call to shift our thinking “from deficit to difference to repertoire”, as a way of validating Bislama as part of a complex teaching and learning repertoire.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Fiona Willans
Date Deposited: 19 May 2016 04:22
Last Modified: 19 May 2016 04:22

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